Review: Zaregoto series vol 6-9

Because the world can never have enough trap Ii-chan. [pixiv]

Late series reviews equals spoilers no matter how well you try to conceal them, so I might as well give the warning now. No explicit spoilers here, but there are explicit impressions, and impressions are already enough of a giveaway for some. Or who knows, maybe it’s all just nonsense?

Review: Zaregoto series vol 1-5

Kubikiri Cycle (The Beheading Cycle: The Blue Savant and the Nonsense Bearer / クビキリサイクル 青色サヴァンと戯言遣い)
Author: Nisioisin
Illustrator: Take
Publisher: Kodansha

It’s been years since I read the first volume of Zaregoto and I barely remember anything about it now, so let’s use this space as a general introduction to the series. Kubikiri Cycle is Nisioisin’s debut work, published in 2002 at the age of 20. A mere nine months later the series had five books out, although the final ninth volume wasn’t released until 2005. It’s widely regarded as Nisio’s best work, his crowning achievement, to this day. And what is it about? Nonsense. Pure nonsense. Our unnamed narrator (commonly referred to by fans as Ii-chan) is unwillingly thrown into a new absurd situation every volume, usually involving some sort of murder or conspiracy or scheming and whatnot, but in the end it always boils down to nonsense. Our Ii-chan just can’t give less of a damn. He’s all too familiar with murderers and geniuses and strange people and would rather just not be bothered. In fact, the series is essentially a character study on Ii-chan – take someone with his purely apathetic personality, throw him into an abnormal situation with outlandish characters, and see what happens. Combine that with Nisioisin’s distinct writing style and you’re in for a fun ride.

Del Rey translated this and volume 2 before they went under, but unfortunately this volume is long out of print and sold out everywhere. Good luck finding a copy for under $50.